Raising kids is by no means a walk in the park, but that doesn't mean it has to be a trek through the jungle either. God's Word provides the foundation for all of life (2 Peter 1:3-11, 2 Timothy 3:16-17) and it is our job as parents to continually share and model its truths to our kids (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Proverbs 22:6). No matter what the topic or issue, your honest, open and consistent modeling and teaching will be the most impactful tool we can provide our kids. Parents are the number one influencer on their kids, above the media, teachers, friends and culture; however, if we as parents give up this mantle, there is no shortage of people our kids will find to fill the void.
The resources below are a starting place on some key issues, but feel free to reach out for further support at any time.
Resources by Topic
You First: Children model and learn from parents. You set the tone and standard for your own home.
Technology is a Tool: Make it work FOR your family not against. Balance is key here; set limits and embrace tech-free times.
Trust Your Kids Not Their Technology: Give your kids the benefit of the doubt, you have raised them to this point after all, but never trust the people, ideas, media and access available on the other end of their devices; they are not under your rules.
Privacy is a Myth: What happens online rarely stays online.
Family Time: Family time cannot be replaced, made up or started over; don't give your time away to technology.
Boredom: Creativity doesn't happen without boredom; help your kids be bored.
Links to Specific Resources:
Bark: Proactive monitoring of text messages, emails, YouTube and 24 different social media sites; alerts parents to safety concerns.
Protect Young Eyes: Provides information regarding the dangers of current apps and how to best use the available parental controls on these apps and common devices.
Common Sense Media: Provides age specific content reviews for books, movies/TV, video games and apps; helpful technology tips and family based resources.
Family Media Contracts: An online tool to help families develop agreements for the use of technology within their home.
Tech-Wise Family (Book): Andy Crouch offers information, resources and strategies to reclaiming technology as a tool for the family to control rather than the other way around.
Captivated: Documentary exploring the effects of media on youth in today's culture.
Define: Bullying is different from the routine conflicts of childhood. It is intentional behavior that is meant to hurt and dominate another person. Characterized by an imbalance of power between the child who bullies and the target, bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional (social), or sexual. It includes harassment using technology, such as texts, email, and social media. (Definition taken from https://www.pacer.org/parent/php/PHP-c109.pdf)
Model: Let your kids see you treating all people with respect and love as Christ has done for us.
Teach: Teach your kids how to be assertive, using a strong firm voice to express their feelings rather than fighting or hiding. Teach them how to spot bullying and how to intervene.
Talk: Talk openly and often about what's going on at school, help your kids feel safe and comfortable sharing anything with you.
Links to Specific Resources:
Bullying PDF: Taken from stopbullying.gov, defines bullying, risk factors and warning signs.
Focus on the Family: An 8 part series providing insights and practical approaches to dealing with bullying.
KnowBullying App: Provides quick reference information regarding how to spot and stop bullying, offers conversation starters to talk with your kids at specific age levels.
Talk Soon, Talk Often: Our goal as parents should be to be the first source for our children about life and truth; ideally pointing them to God's Word (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Proverbs 22:6). If our kids don't learn from us, they will learn from someone else; peers, media, the internet. It is never too early to begin discussing and calling our kids to a life of purity in God's kingdom.
Be Real, Be Open: Kids don't inherently have a shyness or aversion to the technical terms and aspects of sexuality; don't be afraid to use the real terms and be direct with your kids. Teach them to have a healthy respect rather than an unhealthy fear or nervousness. Kids want honesty and openness from their parents, if they are asking don't brush them off; give them age appropriate truth.
Use God's Definitions: Sexuality and purity are God's gift and creation that our world has hijacked for its own pleasure and purposes; always speak from His foundation rather than from culture.
Links to Specific Resources:
Covenant Eyes: Accountability software specifically directed at the addiction of pornography; internet searches are tracked, monitored and compiled into a report sent to a chosen accountability partner (friend, spouse, parent etc.).
Free Filter Settings: A link to a blog detailing how to block pornography for free on any device.
The Talk: A Sex Ed Bible study series from Luke and Trisha Gilkerson with three age appropriate studies (The Talk for ages 6-10; Changes for ages 8-12; Relationships for ages 11-14) focused on helping parents teach their children about gender, puberty, sex and relationships from God's perspective.
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